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Gun Control A History

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by The Hammer, Apr 10, 2021.

  1. The Hammer

    The Hammer White Wolf - kvite ulfh
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    """ March 23, 2021 (Tuesday)

    Ten more people in Boulder, Colorado, died yesterday, shot by a man with a gun, just days after we lost 8 others in Atlanta, Georgia, shot by a man with a gun.

    In 2017, after the murder of 58 people in Las Vegas, political personality Bill O’Reilly said that such mass casualties were “the price of freedom.”

    But his is a very recent interpretation of guns and their meaning in America.

    The Second Amendment to the Constitution is one simple sentence: “A well regulated militia, being necessary for the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” There’s not a lot to go on about what the Framers meant, although in their day, to “bear arms” meant to be part of an organized militia.

    As the Tennessee Supreme Court wrote in 1840, “A man in the pursuit of deer, elk, and buffaloes might carry his rifle every day for forty years, and yet it would never be said of him that he had borne arms; much less could it be said that a private citizen bears arms because he has a dirk or pistol concealed under his clothes, or a spear in a cane.”

    The path to today’s insistence that the Second Amendment gives individuals a broad right to own guns comes from two places.

    One is the establishment of the National Rifle Association in New York in 1871, in part to improve the marksmanship skills of American citizens who might be called on to fight in another war, and in part to promote in America the British sport of elite shooting, complete with hefty cash prizes in newly organized tournaments. Just a decade after the Civil War, veterans jumped at the chance to hone their former skills. Rifle clubs sprang up across the nation.

    By the 1920s, rifle shooting was a popular American sport. “Riflemen” competed in the Olympics, in colleges and in local, state and national tournaments organized by the NRA. Being a good marksman was a source of pride, mentioned in public biographies, like being a good golfer. In 1925, when the secretary of the NRA apparently took money from ammunitions and arms manufacturers, the organization tossed him out and sued him.

    NRA officers insisted on the right of citizens to own rifles and handguns, but worked hard to distinguish between law-abiding citizens who should have access to guns for hunting and target shooting and protection, and criminals and mentally ill people, who should not. In 1931, amid fears of bootlegger gangs, the NRA backed federal legislation to limit concealed weapons, prevent possession by criminals, the mentally ill and children, to require all dealers to be licensed, and to require background checks before delivery. It backed the 1934 National Firearms Act, and parts of the 1968 Gun Control Act, designed to stop what seemed to be America’s hurtle toward violence in that turbulent decade.

    But in the mid-1970s, a faction in the NRA forced the organization away from sports and toward opposing “gun control.” It formed a political action committee (PAC) in 1975, and two years later elected an organization president who abandoned sporting culture and focused instead on “gun rights.”

    This was the second thing that led us to where we are today: leaders of the NRA embraced the politics of Movement Conservatism, the political movement that rose to combat the business regulations and social welfare programs that both Democrats and Republicans embraced after World War Two. Movement Conservatives embraced the myth of the American cowboy as a white man standing against the “socialism” of the federal government as it sought to level the economic playing field between Black Americans and their white neighbors. Leaders like Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater personified the American cowboy, with his cowboy hat and opposition to government regulation, while television Westerns showed good guys putting down bad guys without the interference of the government.

    In 1972, the Republican platform had called for gun control to restrict the sale of “cheap handguns,” but in 1975, as he geared up to challenge President Gerald R. Ford for the 1976 presidential nomination, Movement Conservative hero Ronald Reagan took a stand against gun control. In 1980, the Republican platform opposed the federal registration of firearms, and the NRA endorsed a presidential candidate—Reagan-- for the first time.
    When President Reagan took office, a new American era, dominated by Movement Conservatives, began. And the power of the NRA over American politics grew.

    In 1981, a gunman trying to kill Reagan shot and paralyzed his press secretary, James Brady, and wounded Secret Service agent Tim McCarthy and police officer Thomas Delahanty. After the shooting, Representative Charles Schumer (D-NY) introduced legislation that became known as the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, or the Brady Bill, to require background checks before gun purchases. Reagan, who was a member of the NRA, endorsed the bill, but the NRA spent millions of dollars to defeat it.

    After the Brady Bill passed in 1993, the NRA paid for lawsuits in nine states to strike it down. Although until 1959, every single legal article on the Second Amendment concluded that it was not intended to guarantee individuals the right to own a gun, in the 1970s, legal scholars funded by the NRA had begun to argue that the Second Amendment did exactly that.

    In 1997, when the Brady Bill cases came before the Supreme Court as Printz v. United States, the Supreme Court declared parts of the measure unconstitutional.

    Now a player in national politics, the NRA was awash in money from gun and ammunition manufacturers. By 2000, it was one of the three most powerful lobbies in Washington. It spent more than $40 million on the 2008 election. In that year, the landmark Supreme Court decision of District of Columbia v. Heller struck down gun regulations and declared that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to keep and bear arms.

    Increasingly, NRA money backed Republican candidates. In 2012, the NRA spent $9 million in the presidential election, and in 2014 it spent $13 million. Then, in 2016, it spent more than $50 million on Republican candidates, including more than $30 million on Trump’s effort to win the White House. This money was vital to Trump, since many other Republican super PACs refused to back him. The NRA spent more money on Trump than any other outside group, including the leading Trump super PAC, which spent $20.3 million.

    The unfettered right to own and carry weapons has come to symbolize the Republican Party’s ideology of individual liberty. Lawmakers and activists have not been able to overcome Republican insistence on gun rights despite the mass shootings that have risen since their new emphasis on guns. Even though 90% of Americans—including nearly 74% of NRA members— recently supported background checks, Republicans have killed such legislation by filibustering it.

    Maybe this time things will be different. Today President Biden called for the Senate to pass measures already passed by House lawmakers for universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons.

    More important, perhaps, is that new voices are making themselves heard on this issue. The political participation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) jumped by 91% in Georgia in 2020 and was key to electing Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock to the Senate. The Georgia murders, six of which took the lives of women of Asian descent, have inspired this community to demand policy changes that address hate crimes and violence.

    Judy Chu (D-CA), chair of the 21-person Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, told Politico’s Maya King: “Certainly for AAPIs who may not have been involved before, this is a wake up call to say, ‘You need to be involved.’ """


    Now this is not my argument or writing, but I agree with the things they are positing here.
     
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  2. Vee

    Vee Well-Known Member
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    One thing I never understood about the US is how people accept so easily that others carry guns, but if a woman shows her breast in public it's like a big scandal. I'm not condoning nudity but I'd be a lot more worried about weapons than body parts. :rolleyes:
     
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  3. Kooky

    Kooky Freedom from Sanity

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    Though it bears mentioning that fear of the Black Panthers, and armed Black people in general, played a significant part in Republican and NRA support for the 1968 bill. The Black Panthers showing up in force in front of the Californian state capitol in 1967, which then-governor and NRA member Ronald Reagan would later misremember as a sort of coup attempt, was apparently enough to sway legislators' opinions in favor of the law.

    The NRA Supported Gun Control When the Black Panthers Had the Weapons

    (edited in some details I missed in the 1st draft)
     
    #3 Kooky, Apr 10, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
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  4. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    The last time we had serious gun control was the the Black Panther Party existed and staged an armed protest. Laws were passed lickety-split to stop them.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  5. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise
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    Lol
    Unless you guys have tanks and nuclear missiles, you guys do realise your military already outguns you now? The US military could crush the “well armed farmers” in a millisecond without even thinking about it. If the US ever tried to go against the government owned military today, it’d be a slaughter. It’s not like in the olden days when guns were roughly on the same playing field everywhere
    PR keeps the government owned military in line more than the second amendment, if anything
     
  6. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately monsters exist in this world and what gun control advocates never talk about is all the lives that are saved by guns every year. Primarily as a passive deterrent but sometimes as a tool of self defense. But that should be valid among fair minded and brave people.
     
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  7. Kooky

    Kooky Freedom from Sanity

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    The whole "we can stop the government with a couple of guys with hunting rifles" argument is evidently little more than a self-serving empowerment fantasy for gun collectors. Whenever the US government came under actual threat by armed everymen, the results were as conclusive as they were brutal.
     
  8. Kooky

    Kooky Freedom from Sanity

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    As far as I can tell, the deterrence argument is poorly supported by empirical data. At first glance, this would not be surprising - the entire point of the argument is that attacks are being prevented by concealed/open carry laws, and we can't exactly track events that do not happen.

    However, what data we have of actual spree shooter shows that when confronted with actual gun violence, the presence of gun carriers tends to have very little effect on how these events tend to play out. Out of all spree shootings of the last two decades, I can recall a single one where a gun carrier even responded with their own weapon, and even that did not stop the perpretrator nor saved any lives - it simply added another, though brief, firefight to the scene. So when viewed from this angle, concealed/open carry appears to be a paper tiger, a faux deterrence that may or may not deter anybody at all, and whose entire legitimization completely breaks down in the face of real danger.

    What we do have pretty good data of is the rampant abuse of self defense clauses to shoot unarmed people in the streets, often justified by the victim being "thugs" or "no angels" rather than any material and provable threat they posed. So in that sense, I would agree - the elevated status of (legal) gun carriers in the US legal system does deter people from running away or otherwise trying to de-escalate tense situations - but whether that is an actual benefit to American society, I'd like to leave as an exercise to the reader.
     
    #8 Kooky, Apr 11, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
  9. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

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    I think over all spree shooters are not what I'm talking about because obviously spree shooters are the primary reason against armed citizens. It's really not logical to say that spree shootings are a reason for people to have guns. But, if they are going to occur; then it is good to have guns. There are have been multiple cases when spree shooters or wannabe spree shooters have been stopped by armed citizens or guards. And the most successful mass shooters have done so in so called "gun free" zones such as schools etc. In fact it is likely that they choose those specific areas on purpose knowing they will be able to inflict maximum casualties.
    Yes we have people abusing self defense laws but that is not necessarily the specific law's fault. That's people's fault. Specifically that is a courtroom problem; laws being abused or misapplied. But, even counting these instances; private ownership of guns and self defense laws are worth it.
     
  10. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue The gentle embrace of twilight has become my guide

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    That's why there is unconventional and guerilla warfare tactics.

    Middle East is a great example of that.

    But your right. With technology today, I see the entirety of free society prone to ever increasing subjugation. Civil freedoms are dying out little by little now. I'm still speechless at what the UK has become now. The US is not far behind.
     
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  11. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    The term was applied, then as now, to weapons that were not specifically designed for military use and were not employed in a military capacity. For instance, Cunningham’s legal dictionary gave as an example of usage: “Servants and labourers shall use bows and arrows on Sundays, &c. and not bear other arms.” See also, e.g., An Act for the trial of Negroes, 1797 Del. Laws ch. XLIII, §6, p. 104, in 1 First Laws of the State of Delaware 102, 104 (J. Cushing ed. 1981 (pt. 1)); see generally State v. Duke, 42 Tex. 455, 458 (1874) (citing decisions of state courts construing “arms”). Although one founding-era thesaurus limited “arms” (as opposed to “weapons”) to “instruments of offence generally made use of in war,” even that source stated that all firearms constituted “arms.” 1 J. Trusler, The Distinction Between Words Esteemed Synonymous in the English Language 37 (1794) (emphasis added).
    See District of Columbia v. Heller.

    The problem with narrowly construing language to fit the narrative that we should regulate guns more is that doing so suggests we should narrowly construe language to limit rights. Why not construe language to limit authority and broaden rights?
     
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  12. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    Would you scrap all existing gun controls?
     
  13. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    The UK is a great place to live by comparison with many countries. :)
    What freedoms do you think that we Brits want for?

    Or do you think we all dream about the day when we would want to kill our own soldiers and police?
     
  14. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue The gentle embrace of twilight has become my guide

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    I couldn't live in a massive surveillance state including data collection to the extent it has become over there that already has been judged as being true human rights violations.



    UK’s mass surveillance regime violated human rights law, finds ECHR – TechCrunch
     
  15. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    We have the most extensive CCTV surveillance density in the world, I think.
    I don't mind it all. CCTV has saved me many times before, because I would wait until thieves had reached CCTV coverage before stopping them. if weapons were pulled I could point to cameras and tell them that they had stolen £30 etc from the store so now did they want to add attempted murder to that?
    Those kinds of incidents can make CCTV your friend forever. :)
     
  16. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue The gentle embrace of twilight has become my guide

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    There's no doubt there are benefits to be had.

    Initially, I was a hardliner against surveillance practices but I softened that stance in light of those benefits in light of how easier it makes law enforcement and first responders to do a proper job of handling crisis.

    However, it's also no question this kind of infrastructure has a very dark aspect to it as well.

    Much like China and despot countries, things can and do turn for a very bad turn. Especially when such things go beyond the surveillance aspect as the the eyes of the cop on the beat into something more sinister like modern day racial tracking and facial recognition algorithms incorporated into the network. Even the surveillance of internet activity without due cause appears to be areas of concern. Especially so if a country wants to regard itself as being a free state in the future where people can go about their daily activities without being hindered or stopped for random questioning.

    I really don't regard England/UK as a free society anymore. Not when one examines what's been lost over a half century or so by all accounts and I'm seeing the same thing happening here, although more slowly.

    It's my take on it anyway.
     
    #16 Twilight Hue, Apr 12, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021
  17. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    I don't mind facial recognition nor number plate recognition.

    And if a person feels threatened in a situation, or wants legal defence in any defence situation, go and stand under a CCTV unit. The number of times I was going to be attacked and just stopped and pointed to CCTV. And the number of times o had to put people on the ground and could later defend against their claims.

    The UK is OK, and we don't have the same fraught extreme political tribalism here.
     
  18. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    I saw it somewhere.....years ago
    a comparison of the control law
    to Hitler's gun control law

    almost identical......word for word
     
  19. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    Displaying a gun in public isn't as accepted as the media
    make it out to be. Even a brief accidental exposure of a
    concealed handgun will get one interviewed by the cops.
    I've never seen anyone openly carrying a handgun in
    public...other than cops & military.
    But hooters...yes, I've occasionally seen those in public,
    with nary a concern from cops.
     
  20. Kooky

    Kooky Freedom from Sanity

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    That's New York City. though, isn't it?
    I imagine the situation may be different in, say, Texas or Alabama.
     
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